黄铜茶壶短篇小说蒂姆·梅西当代小说神秘

黄铜茶壶 By 蒂姆·梅西

蒂姆·梅西(Tim Macy)已由《寂静之声》和《里德杂志》(Reed Magazine)出版,并写有剧本,后来在华盛顿特区的纽约市和堪萨斯州的劳伦斯进行了阅读/制作。

这个短篇小说的标题是“The 黄铜茶壶”,是2013年由Ramaa Mosley执导的美国电影的灵感。电影’该剧本也是由蒂姆·梅西(Tim Macy)撰写的,于2012年在多伦多国际电影节上首映,然后于2013年按需放映到影院和视频中。经作者许可,此短片现已由Mystery Tribune提供给您。 。

通过以下方式在您的Kindle上阅读此故事 要么 火狐浏览器

***

老女人 running the roadside antique stand spoke with a heavy eastern accent. 她 skirted the table with two limping legs, hidden by loose, draping leather pants and no shoes. 约翰 couldn’帮忙盯着那个女人’黑色的脚趾,好像她曾经遭受过冻伤。

关于她的一切似乎都曾经感冒过。

爱丽丝(Alice)和约翰(John)即将回国,探望大学的大女儿。他们只是停下来,所以约翰可以把疮拉回来。爱丽丝一直在睡觉,或者假装睡觉,一边想着他们给女儿的所有贷款。他们暗中不得不放弃一次小假期的想法,以便她可以在夏天重修代数。

老女人 approached 约翰’s wife. With her long fingers she pushed a brass teapot into 爱丽丝’的手。她手臂上透明的皮肤随着她微小动作的动摇而摆动。

“Thank you,” 爱丽丝 responded politely, not knowing what else to say.

老女人’摊位由一张绿色的桌子组成,上面满是过去的无用物品。重的铁纪念品。

约翰 rolled his eyes when his wife set the brass teapot in the backseat of their Ford Festiva. The car was noticeably struggling as they drove down the interstate, burdened by the small weight of weekend suitcases.

On the drive home they argued about money. Wasted money. With two children in college, neither having been able to maintain their scholarships, not 上ly was 约翰 and 爱丽丝’他们的退休金在减少,但他们有能力维持生计。

那里 had been mention of a second mortgage.

As the car pulled into their house each went to collect a suitcase. 约翰 slammed 爱丽丝’她的手指意外地伸入后备箱中,然后才可以将手抓住。

<  2  >

  “I’m sorry….”当他牵着她的手亲吻时,他开始说。车内传出一声叮当声。就像有人在敲打黄铜水壶一样。

When 爱丽丝’她的手指停止了跳动,她拿起茶壶,移开顶部,发现里面有四分之五。

“几乎可以收回成本,” she remarked.

Still, 约翰 was annoyed when she insisted 上 setting it 上 the stove.

几天来,他一直感到不舒服,因为它出现在他们本来很现代的厨房中。孩子们搬出去时,他们已经对所有东西进行了大修。他们得到了一个带两扇门的冰箱和一个自清洁的平面烤箱。如果他们知道孩子们将要失去奖学金,而爱丽丝将被降级,他们将永远不会这样做。在三年内将全部付款,并且担保将同时到期。

约翰 was most aggravated when 爱丽丝 decided to make their morning coffee using the brass teapot.

“The electric 上e’s broken,” she reported.

约翰 watched her, standing in her business suit; her graying hair pulled into a neat ponytail, as she clumsily boiled water and added coffee grounds.

“I’我从来没有这样做过”她说,用弯腰沸腾的塑料勺子搅拌。约翰试图向她展示正确的做法,但现在下订单还为时过早。直到他们喝咖啡和早餐之前,他们的心情都不好。亲吻,拥抱,进食食物和咖啡因后都会产生爱意。

“You’ve got to stir it…like this,” he said. He dipped a metal spoon into the cavernous depths of the darkening teapot. 她 looked away, like she always did when 约翰 was correcting her.

“No you don’t!” she snapped. 她 pushed his hand out of the way, causing the pot to lurch and send 上e boiling wave cresting 上to 约翰’裸露的手腕。他大喊,爬到厨房的椅子上,戳着嫩的粉红色皮肤,直到他的妻子给他带来了一个冰袋。

<  3  >

     “It’s going to blister,”她说,敷上冰。他点点头,两人没有’直到她说话’d倒咖啡,他’d为他们每个人举杯。

“你什么时候觉得你’ll be home tonight?” she asked.

“Late,”他回答。来自全国各地的货物都来了,他一个人就可以使用新的处理系统处理接单。还有一个人,一个刚出大学的有前途的女人,但约翰更喜欢自己做。如果她过早证明自己的价值,他可能会发现自己失业。

With his last gulp of coffee, just before he was going to stand up and kiss his wife goodbye, 约翰 found something floating in his mouth.

“你把这东西洗了吗?”

“Of course. It’s clean.”

他掏出一些粘在他嘴上的纸。那是两美元的账单。

“那这到底是什么?” he asked.

They both bent over the kitchen table where 约翰 laid the bill out to dry. Neither of the two could explain the presence of the money except to say that 爱丽丝 must have missed it somehow when she was cleaning, though she swore she had scrubbed every angle of the brass teapot.

两人很快拥抱了一个长吻,都为他们在漫长的周末里所做的战斗感到遗憾。爱丽丝’约翰把舌头塞进去’嘴唇稍微分开。他感到非常惊讶。他疲惫的手腕紧贴着妻子’他伸手将手放在其下的棉质上衣。他从痛苦中再次大喊。

镍掉进了茶壶。

The two bent over and stared in wonder. 约翰 picked it out, held it up to the light.

<  4  >

     爱丽丝伸手捏住丈夫’尽力而为。在他哭泣或将她的手推开之前,茶壶里传出了一角的滴滴声。

“How did that happen?” 约翰 asked.

“Hit me,” she said.

他盯着她。

“Don’不要让我失望一拳打我。很难留下瘀伤。”

约翰 wouldn’打她。相反,他拿起公文包前往前门。

“If I’m late they’重新让她处理货物。我们可以’我不能错过所有这些加班时间。我们有要在不到一个月的时间内付清的学费。”

He kissed 爱丽丝 and closed the door behind him.

***

例行公事是爱丽丝吃晚饭,因为自从会计师降职为荣耀的使者以来,她是第一个回家的。约翰在周末做早餐,并处理所有餐点。但是,当那天晚上约翰回到家时,’空气中任何烹饪的气味。

他发现妻子躺在沙发上,茶壶搁在她的肚子上。已经很晚了,十点以后,他告诉老板,他可以独自处理事情,并告诉他送她回家,因为她只会妨碍她。在没有任何帮助的情况下,他花了几个小时才能完成处理货物的工作。

约翰’缺乏现成的食物使他的肚子痛苦地抱怨。他没有’t eaten since toast at breakfast, there had been no time. The bile that churned, and had been churning everyday for months, had created an ulcer in 约翰’的肚子。膝盖一次站立几个小时就酸痛了。

客厅是黑暗的,除了静音电视机中有些灯光闪烁。

<  5  >

     “What are you doing?”他问,打开头顶的灯。

她试图从沙发上用枕头把脸藏起来,但是他看到了瘀伤和肿胀。

“What happened?”

爱丽丝’s right eye was bloated, colored a dark purple. 那里 was 上ly a slit that she could peer out of. He ran to the kitchen and got the ice pack out of the freezer, laid it against her eye.

她跳了起来,说太敏感了,请他先用毛巾包住它。

“有人攻击过你吗?我需要报警吗?”

他的心在他的耳边跳动。他担心妻子可能流血而死,这是因为担心即将到来的医院账单。他们被迫停止向爱丽丝付款’的健康保险,因为她的公司将员工责任提高了一倍。

“No,” she replied.

她 handed 约翰 the teapot. He removed the lid and saw inside it three ten dollar bills.

“我用铁打了自己,”她说。她看上去很ham愧,但决心告诉他真相。“它给了我十美元。我又做了两次。”她告诉他,她认为最终可能会更多。

“We’必须带您去医院。”

她 refused.

“肿胀会减轻。”经过长时间的深呼吸,将跳动的头靠在丈夫身上’在她的肩膀上,她建议他们用钱出去吃饭。

他们想到的食物,餐厅的想法’t afford anymore, was enough for 约翰 to forget the strangeness of his wife hitting herself in the face with an iron, if 上ly momentarily.

<  6  >

     “我会觉得饱肚子会更好,” he ruminated.

As they gathered their things to go out to dinner, 爱丽丝 took the teapot and held it close to her stomach. He asked her to leave it behind, but she refused.

“如果有人闯入并偷了怎么办?” she asked.

她 set it 上 the table at the restaurant, much to the confusion of the waiter who eyeballed 约翰 like he was an abusive husband. It was the first time anyone had ever suspected him capable of violence.

“What do you think we’与这有关吗?”他吃完沙拉后问。他们去了曾经度过生日和假期的意大利地方。这是他们的最爱。

“I don’t know,” she admitted. Little droplets of white pus sneaked out of an opening beneath the bottom lid of her eye. 约翰 dabbed at it with his napkin after wetting it in his water glass.

“I just know that we’在这里有机会….”

“Opportunity?”

服务员端着饭菜回来了。约翰把小牛肉放在意大利面的上面,爱丽丝有一个样品盘,菜单上只有几样东西。他们没有’他们吃饭时不要说话。在爱丽丝’那天的工作也没有时间吃午饭。她在一幢巨大的办公楼周围奔波,整天走上楼梯,走下长长的走廊。他们不会’不要因为着装要求而穿运动鞋,所以双脚总是起泡。她的薪水远低于她作为一名专职会计师所获得的薪水,因为她倾向于犯数学错误,因此失去了一份工作。据报道,她通过为重要客户提供报税单而使公司损失了数百万美元。

账单到来的时候三十多美元。两个避风港’很久没去餐厅了,价格上涨了,’甚至没有看他们的菜单。

<  7  >

     “我们可以把它放到Discover上,” 约翰 suggested.

“It’s maxed.”

他们沉默地坐着。他们什至没有能力支付十一美元的支票,更不用说付小费了。一个漫长的周末去看女儿的旅行吃掉了他们剩下的支票,用汽油和多余的钱给了她。发薪日仍在三天前。

“我可以写一张支票….”

“No checks,” she said, pointing to a sign in the window of the restaurant. 约翰’溃疡在他的胃中尖叫,不再被温暖,营养丰富的食物所满足。

避免与服务员目光接触片刻后,约翰将茶壶和他一起带入了男人手中’的房间。他把门锁在身后,感谢那是一个只供一个人使用的浴室,然后他就把拳头撞到了墙上。起初,他的试验性只给他零钱,零钱和零花钱。经过五次打击,他数入墙的瓷瓦中。虽然他的手指红了又烧,但还不到三美元。

他竭尽全力将膝盖骨伸入水槽中。疼痛从他的心脏开始向各个方向散发出冰冷的鲜血。他翻了个身,钻进茶壶。五美元的钞票。他以每盎司的勇气将水流到了尽头,坐在水龙头右边的浴室地板上,他把手伸到水龙头下方二十秒钟,烧伤了皮肤。闭上眼睛,他听着宿舍的声音在下降,直到他确定自己终于吃饱了。

爱丽丝不好意思付这么多钱。当他们离开时,她试图不看着其他盯着他们的食客。她扶起了她神秘受伤的丈夫,用一只好眼睛在寻找前门。

<  8  >

***

约翰 had passed out 上 the couch not long after they returned home. 爱丽丝 tinkered for a bit in the kitchen. He could hear whispers of “ow” and “shit”从房间传来,随之而来的是变革的声音撒进黄铜。

早上他意识到自己睡过头了。通常他会’我一直在他的闹钟所在的床上,但在客厅里却一无所有。凌晨十点,爱丽丝和茶壶下落不明。约翰赶紧去上班,他们叫他继续休息一天。他们告诉他他看了“beat up.”她可以自己处理。她’d已经证明可以在不到两个小时的时间内处理发货。

Dejected, 约翰 returned home to find his wife also not working.

“Why are you home?”她问。他凝视着她的脸。中午的阳光使她的脸比饭店里的还要糟。

“Why didn’你今天早上离开之前叫我醒吗?” he asked.

她告诉他,她没有’那天早上离开了。当一把悬挂的铁锹掉落在她的头上时,她不小心将自己撞倒在车库里。

约翰 felt around her skull until his fingers reached the bump.

“I’m fine,” she said.

“我们必须停止这个!”他喊道。他用力地将茶壶从她的怀里拿出来,放在厨房柜子上,她无法’达到。她不为所动,把椅子踩了下来,把椅子放下来了。

“我们有机会终于取得成功!”她尖叫回来。这次她不会让他从她的掌握中拿走茶壶。

“Get ahead?”他向她解释说,他们要取得成功的唯一方法是如果他们俩都加班。“Today’已经让我们退缩了….”

<  9  >

     “We’ll never get ahead, 约翰. We never have and we never will. The moment we get any money something breaks 要么 上e of the children….”

他们争论了一个小时,爱丽丝整个时间都紧紧抓住着封闭的茶壶。她在战斗中三度称他为失败者,而他一次出于挫败感告诉她,她曾经是一个坏妈妈。这是他们曾经互相对待过的最肮脏的东西。当他们吃完饭时,两个人都因为没吃早饭而筋疲力尽,所以爱丽丝提起盖子找到装满二十美元钞票的茶壶。只有四百多美元。

“But how?” 约翰 asked.

爱丽丝 reared back and spit in his face. 她 then told him how she came home for lunch whenever she could in hopes that the postman would be walking his route and say 你好 to her.

A twenty dollar bill appeared, though 约翰 was too hunched over to see it.

“Now you do me!” she said.

“You’re a bitch!”他说。变化无比。

“没有!真实地做我。告诉我你讨厌我的事或你讨厌的事’做了。确实会伤害我的感觉的东西。”

约翰 thought as he sat at the table, still trying to form the picture of what their postman looked like.

“我和艾伦·沃特森睡过….”

“I already know that,” she interrupted.

“你和我约会后我和她睡了,” he said spitefully.

It had been a secret. Words festering beneath 约翰’皮肤二十年了。晚上躺在床上,在爱丽丝旁边,他可以闻到这些单词。皮肤下发霉,潮湿,绿色的单词,但他的血液中没有发霉的单词。

<  10  >

     她的脸色苍白,但是当她看着茶壶时,看到一个五十美元的钞票出现,脸上露出了微笑。

“Keep going,” she said.

两人开始互相讲述一切。没有已婚夫妇分享过的事情。约翰告诉她有关工作中的女人的信息,可能是要代替他的那个女人,以及她的乳房挺立得多么美妙。爱丽丝告诉他关于她在他之前和他们在一起的男人的事,以及她允许他们做的事情,而她绝不允许约翰对她做。他们仍然彼此相爱,到了一天结束时,彩池已经给了他们一千多美元。他们一个星期的工作量都超过了他们。

They continued 上 the next day, after shouting at 上e another so furiously that they had each finally retreated to their corners and cried themselves to sleep. 约翰 got a call 上 the fourth day from his boss saying that he shouldn’不必再来了。她可以应付。

“Fine,” 约翰 replied. “I’无论如何,我还是找到了其他东西。”他的老板惊讶于缺乏情感。爱丽丝也决定不回自己的雇主。尽管他们缺乏秘密和真正的侮辱–不真诚的侮辱没有’t pay a dime –他们仍然花了足够的钱才能维持几个月。

每天早上,他们醒来得很晚,有时直到中午才醒,通常是一个人,然后他们在厨房的桌子上见面,在那里将茶壶放在中间。

“我们上高中时,我总是说你很松散,” 约翰 said.

铮铮。铮铮。铮铮。

“你从来没有给我高潮,” 爱丽丝 replied.

三二十美金。

<  11  >

     爱丽丝正在学习通过丈夫的反感来预测茶壶中有多少钱。侮辱,殴打,堕落对他产生了更持久的影响。他的脸开始没有反弹。

到第三个月,茶壶每天都在奖励他们越来越少的钱。爱丽丝已经开始转向用手指砸在橱柜中,以达到生存所需的最小数量。两人认为,如果他们每天能从茶壶中获得至少一百美元,他们会没事的。

当他们的大女儿在第三个月给他们打电话时告诉他们她要回家进行周末探访时,爱丽丝试图轻轻地暗示她不要来。女孩会’听。第二天晚上,她出现在他们家门口,没想到她看到了什么。

当她进入童年时代的家时,情况有所不同。地幔上的照片被砸碎了。有的是拳头,有的是情感。她妈妈’头发短,靠近头部。她告诉女儿,她想要一些不同的东西,但老实说,她一直在争先恐后地掏钱,以至于不得不剃光它才能使它恢复到均匀的长度。

那位女孩’父亲最大的惊喜。他的头发变白了,比他重’d曾经去过。两人一直吃得很好,从来没有做任何运动。他们从未想过离开茶壶,错过了可能赚点钱的那一刻。

当她坐在沙发上喝着茶,凝视着变化莫测的环境时,她开始向他们讲述她的班级和教授的故事。通常,他们会’我专心听。他们将’对女孩有疑问或意见’的故事,但都没有说话。爱丽丝和约翰都在想着正在坐的茶壶,在他们面前的咖啡桌上等着。

<  12  >

     当女孩把它捡起来时,父母双方都向她猛冲,将其从她的手中拉出。

“It’s an antique,” 爱丽丝 commented, setting it back down gently 上 the coffee table.

“妈妈,您的眼睛怎么了?”女孩问。如果仔细看一看,会有四个单独的疤痕,但是从她那里有一个残酷的伤口’d用在任何距离都可以看见的熨斗str打自己。

“That’s nothing. I fell,”她说。她嘴里的话像“thank you” and “hello”.

爱丽丝看着她的女儿 ’贪婪的眼睛使皮肤保持平整,未切割,完好无损。当她拥抱她时,就在爬楼梯上床睡觉之前,爱丽丝将女儿捏在胳膊下和背上。

“What’d you do that for?”女孩大喊。锅里发出改变的声音没有引起她的注意。

“Sorry,”她的母亲对熟悉的镍音感到失望。

当她把手提箱交给女孩时,爱丽丝把它撞到了女儿身上’仍然很敏感。她的母亲大声疾呼,蹒跚着走了一会儿,而母亲为四分之一的四分之一洒水声道歉。

约翰 and 爱丽丝 waited for their daughter to go out with her high school friends 要么 to go to bed at night before starting their ritual of insults and physical attacks. When the girl asked in the morning what had happened, why her mother’嘴唇肿了,两人保持安静。

女孩的周日早于原定计划离开,因为她的母亲绊倒并在她身后行走时不小心将她推下楼梯。她的肘部可能骨折了,她想回家利用大学的优势’的医疗设施。她认为没有父母提供汽油钱很奇怪。

<  13  >

     “You shouldn’t have done that,” 约翰 said, as they smiled and waved.

“It’我们五十美元’要用来支付她的学费!”

With all of their secrets scattered about their modest home, covered in broken glass and splintered wood, the two were forced to go back to beating themselves. 约翰 called his old boss and begged for his job 上 his boss’的语音邮件,但他的电话再也没有回电。

学费账单每三个月发一次,它们在付款计划中。除此之外,还有电费,抵押,水和信用卡。更不用说他们必须将爱丽丝带到急诊室来治疗她用一把车库铲子给自己造成的脑震荡。

A policeman had visited 约翰 in the waiting room and asked him questions. He had written 约翰’s answers into a little notebook and showed 约翰 pictures of 爱丽丝’s bruises.

“She fell?”警察问。

约翰 nodded his head and stared off in the other direction.

At the end of each week 约翰 took a giant bucket of change to the bank to be counted out and returned in bills. The change was even diminishing. They had begun to expect four hundred dollars a week in change, but it soon dwindled to two hundred and fifty.

“The fridge doesn’t work,” 爱丽丝 reported.

“What? Why not?” 约翰 asked, returning from a disappointing trip to the bank.

“I don’t know,” she replied. “可能是因为您将其打了一千次。”

她的态度每天都在变化。约翰怀疑她在她上周的另一个脑震荡中’d “slipped”在洗澡时,他不得不将她昏迷的身体拉着,晃来晃去,深红色,湿湿的头躺在床上。她说这是个意外,但是茶壶和她一起一直在房间里。通过反复试验,他们发现茶壶只有在受伤者一定范围内时才起作用。

<  14  >

     “So you’再责怪我冰箱坏了,” he asked her. “那车呢?挡风玻璃打碎了,我可以怪你。”

她的皮肤发蓝,苍白。她的眼睛没有白色,只有红色和绿色。睡眠不足给了一点钱,但是那不是’为什么她晚上躺在那里醒着。她很痛苦。她的头不停地疼痛,但她拒绝再去看医生,说如果他们不得不再付一张医院帐单,他们将永远无法前进。

修理工来冰箱工作时,他告诉他们,他们的保修没有’掩盖损失。爱丽丝在男人身上爆炸’的脸。他矮小,秃顶,沉重。他的手指上有金银戒指。他穿着长蓝色的工作服,上面写着一个名牌“Randy.”

“Miss, 我不’t make the rules….” he started to say.

约翰, dabbing at an injury 上 his chin that wouldn’别再流血了,走进他的妻子用木勺敲打那个男人的头。他年龄较大,体重缓慢,右腿瘫软。

“Alice!” 约翰 yelled. He pulled her off of the heavy man who was covering his face with his hands. The clank of the wooden spoon hitting his rings had played in unison with the change rattling in the teapot.

爱丽丝 lurched at the recoiled man with her feet, 约翰 having hold of her top half. Her foot planted firmly 上 the man’的鼻子,瞬间折断。鲜血从他的鼻孔里咆哮着,滑到他的嘴唇上,最后到已经沾满血迹的地板上。

“You’re crazy!”他对她尖叫。“You’re wife’s a crazy bitch!”他用手遮住了脸。

“She’s not crazy,” 约翰 responded calmly.

约翰 walked over to the teapot and pulled out a newly formed hundred dollar bill. He handed it to the repairman.

<  15  >

“您会为此修复它吗?” he asked.

那人笑了。

“I’我要把你告上法庭我的鼻子坏了!”

约翰在爱丽丝小憩。她那蓝色的皮肤在厨房的灯光下晒得很香。电话响在远方某处,但没人听见。爱丽丝推入修理工的那把刀的撕裂声,包括修理工在内,所有人都只能听到。’的肚子。他的两只手伸到手柄上,将其拉出,但爱丽丝将其推得更远,像看电影中那样完成了转动。

“你到底在干什么” 约翰 yelled.

他立即开始考虑他们将如何处理身体。他如何保护她免受此侵害?

胖子’他的身体分两个阶段掉到厨房地板上。他的脊椎中一些不死的部分试图保持直立,而他的大腿和脚踝想要平放并去世。爱丽丝在心脏停止跳动之前将他踢倒在地。

“你到底在干什么” 约翰 asked again.

她 got down next to him, stabbed him three 要么 four more times, in hopes that he could still feel the pain. 她 then lifted herself, 约翰 standing horrified in the corner, and walked over to the teapot. 她 lifted the lid. A blood-spattered smile charmed across her face.

“Look at this!”她说。她把锅拿出来给他看,尽管他没有’看。到处都是数百个。塞满了数百个。

“You killed a man!” 约翰 yelled. In a panic he looked out the kitchen window. 那里 was no 上e in sight. “We’我必须把他的身体放到外面的工作卡车上。看看是否可以找到他的钥匙。”

<  16  >

约翰 went to grab towels out of the bathroom to mop up the blood. When he returned she was at the man again with her knife.

     “It doesn’t work after they’re dead,” she said.

“Can you help me?” he asked.

他拿出几种清洁剂。

“We’在人们认识他之前,他必须和他做些事情’s missing.”

爱丽丝 wasn’听着。她盯着现在空荡荡的锅。

“我们可以购买天堂的方式,” she whispered. “There’我们附近的房子里必须要有十五个邻居,这些邻居才能信任我们。街对面的唐在他的壁橱里拿着枪。他保持加载。”

他在7月4日向他们展示了这两个文件。

“一万多元”她说,摸索着本杰明·富兰克林的不变面孔。“我们可以花钱去天堂” she repeated.

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